Lloyd "Rusty" Knickerbacker
200 points
A character for Transhuman Space.


Primary Character Sheet

Cybershell Template

Programmed Ally Character Sheet

Character Background

Family Tree

Character Description (Physcial)

Mars Encumbrance Chart


"Rusty" (Lloyd Knickerbacker)

Attributes: ST 8 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 13 [30]; HT 11/9 [0]
Advantages:     Administrative Rank (+3) [15]; Ally (Heidi Knickerbacker;100 points, appears rarely) [3]; Ally (Programmed; "Dieter") [6]; Ghost [17]; Less Sleep (Ghost edited) [6]; Stickman* [67].
Disadvantages: Cannot Harm Innocents [-10]; Code of Honor (Always repay debts with interest, never lie to family, don't attack someone who doesn't see it coming, never lie to an employer) [-5]; Weak Will [-8].
        Level  Pts.   Skill
        -----  ----   -----
14 6.0 Accounting 13 2.0 Acting ("Playing dumb") 14 4.0 Administration 13 1.0 Area Knowledge (Mars) 13 1.0 Area Knowledge (Noctis Labyrinthus, Mars) 12 0.5 Area Knowledge (Robinson City, Mars) 11 1.0 Astronomy 13 0.5 Camouflage 11 4.0 Climbing 14 2.0 Computer Operation 13 1.0 First Aid 11 1.0 Diplomacy 8 0.5 Driving (Automobile) 11 1.0 Ecology (Mars) 13 4.0 Economics 12 2.0 Electronics (Communications) 12 1.0 Electronics Operation (Sensors) 12 2.0 Engineer (Robotics) 13 0.0 English (Native) 12 2.0 Geology 12 1.0 German 12 1.0 Guns (Pistol) 10 1.0 Hiking 11 1.0 History 11 0.5 Japanese 9 2.0 Karate 12 2.0 Law 11 1.0 Literature 13 4.0 Mathematics 14 4.0 Mechanic (Robotics) 15 6.0 Merchant 11 1.0 Musical Instrument (Piano) 13 4.0 Naturalist (Mars) 11 0.5 Planetology (Earthlike) 13 2.0 Prospecting 12 1.0 Research 14 2.0 Savoir-Faire 11 4.0 Stealth 12 1.0 Surveying 14 4.0 Survival (Desert; Mars) 10 1.0 Swimming 11 0.5 Xenobiology (Terrestial)
Languages: English-13 (native) [0], Japanese-11 [½], German-12 [1].
* Cybershell template modified as follows: Radio Speech [20] removed; Acute Vision +2 [4], Infravision [15], and Nictating Membrane [10] added; DR 2 increased to DR 4 [6].
Quirks: Swears in German; Reverse-Solipsist.
Totals: Attributes:



Skills (incl. languages):



Simple Humanoid Cybershell ("Stickman")
A cybershell template.

52 points

A very basic, relatively inexpensive, obviously mechanical, humanoid cybershell.

Attributes:   ST -2 [-15]; HT +1 [10]
Advantages:     Absolute Direction (Uses GPS, -20%) [4]; Doesn't Breathe [20]; DR 2 [6]; Machine Body [37]; Radio Speech (Reduced range -4, -20%) [20].
Disadvantages:   Mistaken Identity [-5]; No Sense of Smell/Taste [-5]; Reduced Hit Points -2 [-10]; Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-10].
Features:   Complexity 5-7 small computer or Complexity 6-8 compact microframe.
Date:   2075.
Cost:   $70,000 + computer.

An NAI programmed ally.

25 points

Attributes: ST — [—]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 11 [0]; HT14/1 [0]
Advantages:     NAI-7 [0].
Disadvantages: Virtual Interface Implant [-11].
Skills: Accounting-14* [4], Area Knowledge-11 (New Shanghai) [1], Area Knowledge-10 (Nix Olympica) [½], Cartography-10 (TL9) [1], Driving-10 (Automobile) [2], Ecology-11 (Mars) [4], Electronics-10 (Communications) [2], Electronics-8 (Computers) [½], Electronics-8 (Sensors) [½], Geology-12 (Areology) [6], History-10 (21st Century), Mathematics-12* [1], Photography-9 [½], Research-13 [6], Writing-12 [4].
Languages: Chinese-10 [1], English-11 (native) [0].
* Includes bonus from Mathematical Ability.

Character Background:

Lloyd Knickerbacker was born May 26th, 1970 to Gerald and Elise Knickerbacker of the Connecticut Knickerbackers, a reputable and wealthy family that had emigrated to the U.S. in the 1880s. From an early age, it was obvious he was a bright, outgoing, but strangely rational child; a good heir to the family business (a massive international conglomerate). He was given the finest private schooling and tutored during the summers he spent in Cologne, Germany with his sister, Heidi (ten years his junior), and their grandmother, Inge Knickerbacker.

At age 22 (1992), he graduated from an ivy league university with an MBA in Accounting. Lloyd's father, with great expectations, put him in charge of one of the subsidiaries, a mining company. Under his direction, the corporation was amazingly successful. Five short years after his graduation, Lloyd's father had him transferred to a higher position in the conglomerate as a CFO. Meanwhile, Heidi had flunked out of the prestigious Westover School in Connecticut. She despised her brother for all his success and disappeared two months after the expulsion, leaving behind a venomous note accusing her parents of favoritism (which wasn't entirely inaccurate). A week after her disappearance, the elder Knickerbackers were disgusted to find out Heidi had been living with a few rich teenagers in Bavaria, attending parties, and, as Elise put it, "wasting her unverantwortlich life."

Unfortunately in 1999, during his sister's four-year absence, Lloyd's parents were tragically killed in a plane crash in Switzerland. Heidi returned to Connecticut and Lloyd abruptly ceased working for his father's company. After the funeral, the Knickerbacker siblings learned that their parents' will had been altered, leaving Lloyd ninety-five percent of the family's assets. Heidi was outraged and fled to Cologne to sulk in her grandmother's mansion (Inge had died in 1987). Lloyd also felt his parents had been unfair, but didn't really know how to talk to his sister about it; they hadn't been close. In fact, they'd barely seen each other since 1987, the last summer they both spent with grandma Inge.

He became depressed and isolated. With all the recent pain and chaos, Lloyd quit the company and withdrew to his family's estate in northern Connecticut. In 2002, catastrophe struck: the new CFO of the Knickerbacker conglomerate was found to be thoroughly corrupt. The company lost billions. Lloyd dragged himself back into the corporate finances to try and clean up the damage.

In 2007, just as the company had begun to regain some of its former power and reputation, Lloyd Knickerbacker was diagnosed with cancer of the gastric cardia. The best doctors in the world could do nothing to improve his condition; Lloyd knew he was going to die. In 2009, Heidi returned from Germany to care for her brother. The siblings became very close in the last months she spent at his bedside. When Lloyd died on February 3rd, 2010, Heidi had his body cryogenically frozen. Some called her obsessive, but Heidi just couldn't bear to part with what had been her last living relative.

In the 2070s, when it became obvious that the resurrection of human minds was a real possibility, Heidi Knickerbacker (sole heir to the family fortune and now in her 90s) dumped millions into brain emulation research. In 2076, mere weeks after Gilbert Stokes' uploading, Lloyd Knickerbacker was brought back to life as an infomorph. Heidi had always been something of a technophobe. Shortly before her brother's "rebirth," however, she had a top-of-the-line, quadruple-redundancy mainframe installed in a bunker at her estate and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of custom VR databases and programs designed to her specifications.

The completion of the ghosting was exciting and joyous for both Heidi and Lloyd. For the next few weeks, the two spent a lot of time together in the Knickerbacker mainframe reminiscing and discussing the events of the last sixty-six years. In the last two-thirds of a century, the family fortune had shrunk, but not too much. Heidi was still worth a few billion dollars. She offered to have a bioshell or cyberdoll created for Lloyd, but her brother refused. This was the first indication that his personality had really changed since the uploading. The old Lloyd would have jumped right back into things; no more cancer, no more financial crises, hundreds of exciting opportunities. But instead, he sat in his supercomputer, poring over old news files and archived professional journals.

Lloyd never really got over the philosophical/spiritual dilemma of ghosting. He just couldn't think of himself as real. U.S. law said he wasn't a full person; he was the ward of his little sister. Over the next few months, he stopped thinking of himself as "Lloyd" all together. He was Lloyd's Ghost. Heidi's Project. Lloyd's Very-Good-But-Not-Good-Enough-Carbon-Copy.

For years, Lloyd Beta (as he'd come to think of himself) lived without a real body. His sister tried to help acclimate him to life in the present as best she could. In 2079, she had a simple NAI, "Dieter," custom-designed for Lloyd. He finally began to open up, venturing out into the web. In 2080, Lloyd decided to attend an online European university to get his bachelor's degree in geology, something that'd always been a minor interest for the original Lloyd.

After a graduation party in 2082 (Lloyd progressed quickly through school, having little else to do), Lloyd announced he'd be leaving the Knickerbacker mainframe. He ordered a simple cybershell body and told Heidi he'd pay her back for all her expenses. She wouldn't think of it; she'd done it out of love and the money was all supposed to be his anyway. Lloyd insisted. He owed her for the cryogenic storage, the research, the brainpeeling, the programs and deebees, everything.

Since his death, Lloyd had avoided using his old business skills. Though he could probably have made money quicker if he'd relied on them, he decided he would repay his debt through geological work. Somehow, it felt more honest to him. Accounting and administration had been Lloyd Alpha's thing. Lloyd Beta would be a scientist. Through correspondence, he managed to secure a position as a private student to a prominent professor at Mars University.

In 2083, he left for Mars (or, rather, had his body sent there). Heidi, somewhat overprotective of her big brother, insisted on upgrading and adapting his 'shell to operate safely and efficiently on the red planet. Lloyd reluctantly agreed, but mentally added the costs to his enormous IOU. When the refitting was complete, Lloyd's cybershell housed two microframes, had improved armor, and wildly enhanced optics. He even allowed his sister to install LCD cladding, something he considered a needless luxury.

While his body was in transit to the fourth planet, Lloyd had his program edited so that he'd require less sleep. A worthwhile investment, he decided, if he could use it to study and work 12% more than an ordinary human. In August, when his cybershell arrived on Mars, Lloyd had himself and Dieter (his VI) beamed fifty million miles to a secure server in New Shanghai.
From 2083 to 2088, Lloyd worked under Professor Davidson from Nix Olympica studying soil acidity and erosion in the canyons and valleys of the Noctis Labyrinthus. During this time, as he became more comfortable with his existence as a ghost, he applied for European Union citizenship. In order to further this effort, he purchased a small amount of land within the territory of New Amsterdam, one of the few EU habitats on Mars. He also maintains a P.O. box and space on a private server in the main dome there.

In 2088, when Lloyd was granted EU citizenship, he legally changed his name to Rusty. It didn't seem right to keep using the name of his dead ancestor. He also happened upon an interesting job opportunity well suited to someone with his unique abilities. Until 2096, he worked for a small German biotech firm cataloging, observing, and tagging wild animals in the Noctis Labyrinthus. It didn't involve areology to any meaningful degree, but it paid significantly more. He didn't need the money except to pay off his debt to Heidi, his own expenses totaling barely 200 Euros per month.

Rusty received a call from his great-niece in June, 2096. Her business on Luna was being audited and experiencing some legal problems. No one else in the Knickerbacker clan had the sort of skill Lloyd had, so Rusty had himself beamed there to help Heidi's granddaughter. When it became evident that the problems with her corporation were going to take months to repair, Rusty ordered his cybershell shipped from Mars. After his years alone in the Martian wilderness, Rusty felt more comfortable in his own 'shell than some stationary microframe (or worse, a rental cybershell).

As of mid-2098, Rusty's finished working out the numerous errors in his great-niece's bookkeeping, attending hearings, and generally repairing her business problems. Being engrossed in such trappings has renewed his interest in finance… he's now tentatively seeking employment in a corporation where he could flex his accounting muscle. Though Heidi's all but begged him to return to Earth to manage the family conglomerate, he's politely refused her offers.

Family Tree:

Character Description:

Rusty's stickman cybershell is about six feet tall and mostly covered with a sleek high-impact plastic chassis with LCD cladding. Where the underlying endoskeleton has been left exposed, one can glimpse metal joints, gaskets, and tight titanium meshes. The upper torso shell is studded with a simple pattern of ports and boltheads. The arms appear spindly from the shoulder to the elbow; from there they widen into molded plastic pods which end in large, but finely articulated four-fingered grippers. The head is deeper and more smoothly rounded than a human's but is bevelled sharply at the edge of the "jaw." Its only discernable features are two recessed lenses in approximately the same position as eyes. The speakers are located below the chassis surface and use the entire "face" as a sounding board. Additional sensors are located under the "jaw" edge and inside the chest.

The overall effect is something like a skeleton in moon boots, thick bracers, and a half-sweater. Only more cool looking and less creepy.

Mars Encumbrance Chart:

Character's weight: 140 lbs. (guessed; used ST/wt./height chart from Basic)

BNE: 86.8, rounded to 85.

Level   Formula     Wt.   Adj. Move
None-3  BNE-(9xST)  13___ +3   8____
None-2  BNE-(6xST)  37___ +2   7____
None-1  BNE-(3xST)  61___ +1   6____
None    BNE+(5xST)  125__ +0   5____
Light   BNE+(10xST) 165__ -1   4____
Med     BNE+(15xST) 205__ -2   3____
Hvy     BNE+(30xST) 325__ -3   2____
X-hvy   BNE+(50xST) 485__ -4   1____


Item Weight Cost
Mini-Toolkit (Engineer) 2 lbs. $400
Teralogos Net Access, 12 months pre-paid (x2, one for personal use, one for private server) -- $240
Stationary small computer (C6) (in New Amsterdam) -- $2,000
Small canister containing 4 nanobugs 0.1 lbs. $410
Paramedic Medkit (+2 to First Aid) 7.5 lbs. $750
8 teradisks + 10 holodisks 0.18 lbs. $50
Tough, olive green arachnoweave satchel with buzzwear and videocloth options (PD 2, DR 8) 1 lb. $450
1 sq. ft. foldable solar panel (UT12; D-cell equivalent output) 1.4 lbs. $1,000


Item Weight Cost
Rock Reader software (ITW96; 10 GB; C4; +2 to Climbing) -- $5,500
Soil Reader (ITW96; 10 GB; C4; +1 to Areology) -- $5,500
Social Telepresence software (10 GB; C4) + custom lifelike avatar (1 GB) -- $220
Areological Databases (5 TB) -- $6,000
10 Misc. Entertainment InVids (5 TB; C3-5) -- $750
Mugshot software (10 GB; C4) -- $100
Neural VR Program (utter lifelike capable; 100 GB; C5) -- $4,000
100-user VR Manager (1 TB; C6) -- $1,000
Genetic map of Lloyd Knickerbacker (2 GB) -- $50
Lifelike virtual mansion (recreation of Grandma Inge's estate in Cologne, Germany; 1 TB) -- $10,000

"Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected." — Jimmy Cannon